A cataclysmic review
Ive been thinking a lot about WoW over the past few days, mainly as a result of becoming more active over the last few weeks. While Ive very excited to invest a bit more spare time into the game, and explore some of the ideas I have for the future, Ive been thinking about particular aspects of game play and how that may effect some of the things Id like to achieve as both an individual and a member of my guild. ( I'm not going to get into my own personal list of things to do simply because that would take away from the quality of the thread and sway its focus to other aspects game play that I don't intend to cover here.What I will mention is the nature of the obstacles I see and concerns they raise, which may or may not effect me directly.) With that said, specifically Ive been looking at motivating factors which keep peoples attention on a specific goal. Its important to me and my guild to focus my game time on aspects of the game that seem to consistently offer the highest degree of motivating factors, while experiencing the least amount of blow back possible. What I define as blow back is sum of all activities related to a specific goal that may become frustrating to an individual or group that are outside my/our control. for example, if we are in a raid, and preforming poorly, that is something that is inside our control and something we/I can work on and develop. If a raid encounter is bugged, that is something that's outside my/our control and that's the sort of thing that I look to address here.... things that are not in our control.
Now with that in mind, there are some fundamental concerns I have which, after a bit of banter between friends that also play the game, realized that the concern over these issues is not isolated and appears to be on the minds of many of the WoW gamers I know, to some degree and across a full spectrum of people, from the less frequent player to the exceptionally dedicated player.
What I would ask from anyone that intends to post here are two simple tasks. 1) if you think Ive left something out, please fill in the blanks. 2) if you think that I or anyone else posting here is totally off base, by all means point it out but do so in a respectful manor. Finally, many of the things I talk about here are my own opinions and I don't claim in any way, shape, or form that my opinions are the opinions of anyone else out of the 11 million people that play this game. I'm one person, and these are my own thoughts.
so without further Ade!
I really enjoyed the start of cata. the dungeon's/raids were tuned to a difficulty level that was challenging to a degree that was comfortable at the time. I don't remember breezing through any of the content at any point in time that I did not out gear the encounters, while they were engaging and far more so then the impression I had from where wrath left off. I think the pace that the content was cleared was appropriate for the amount of fights both reg and hard mode, that were available at the time, and the nurfs that took place came at the right time in progression as well. However, As 4.1 hit, and It became clear that we would NOT see another raid tier at that time, I think the existing content became stale for a several months prior to the release of 4.2. Fire lands we a very well designed as far as the layout, artwork, lore, and even the setting. An open instance is something Ive always liked and I was glad to see one in the xpac.
The problem that I have seen in both of the tiers of raiding comes into play with comp and raid size. In fire lands specifically, I really don't see raid leaders eger to go into the instance melee heavy, and that condition becomes even more apparent as you look at 10 man guilds. Then I look at the 4.2 legendary and the difference in drop rate between 25 and 10. I see that while the drop rates on gear remains steady across both both fields, I see the 10 man groups feeling really left out of the loop. Then finally I look at the next coming legendary and see its going to be a rogue item, while it is pretty rare that a you will see rogues in a 10 man raid team out of necessity to accommodate the preferred comp. Now I understand melee is getting a large buff, and I wasn't really trying to point out the differences in ranged/melee, What I'm really interested is if the fights are designed/tuned to a 25 man setting, 10 man setting, or if they are in fact tuned in consideration of both are they done so with slight favor to one?
The second problem I Notice is the pace at which content is released. I recall blizzard making an announcement that they intend release content at a faster pace. Looking at the current content, and under the impression that 4.3 will be the last raid of cata, we would be looking at a total of 63 encounters when combining easy, reg and hard mode fights ( easy referring to the tier of raid finder content that has not since been released ). Looking back at wrath, and considering 10 and 25 man were separate tiers, and including the hard modes available for each tier, a total of 141 separate encounters were available. So my question here is, when the intention is to release content at a faster pace, is that by way of patch or by way of expansion? Will the cost of expansions decline if we are indeed going to see them more frequently and with more content?
5-Man, the point system, & the lockout system
I never really liked current point system for a few reasons. the first being it takes away from the motivation to raid when a good portion of the gear can be obtained by running 5 mans once a day. Now, I spent most of cata as someone who really only had enough time to play about as long as it takes to finish one or two 5-man heroics, but the rate at which people gain points really wasn't my major concern. the current allotment of X points for za/zg tier heroics and a Y points for pre-za/zg heroics, combined with the type of drops coming from each instance causes a problem. That problem being a good reason to visit the original cata dungeons weather I play for an hour a week of 3 hours a day. The difference in gear and valor points pushes those well designed dungeons to last priority for really every category of player that abides by the current point system. I do recall some dungeons getting addition drops on wrath as they were outdated, and of course the point allocation was the same. Why have you moved away from that design? I ask this because at the moment, there are two logical options for those that want to run a 5-man... za.. and zg... Under the current system, those two instances will be eclipsed by the coming three instances that we are told will appear in 4.3
In a sense, the point system actually makes someone feel like they have less content available to them then they really have. This, in an expansion that by nature has less end-game content then the previous and by way of of the limited lockout system. which brings me to my next point.
Given the fact that the raid finder will bring back an addition tier per patch, will the lockout system change to accommodate this function? Personally Ive never enjoyed being locked out of a fight on both 10 and 25 simply because despite the fact the the encounters may be tuned exactly the same ( see previous sections question) the feel of 25 and 10 man raiding are totally different. From a guilds point of view, not having the option to run both in the same week has in a way tied some hands of raid leaders and guildmasters/officers that are trying to get people though the content with a limited about of raid leaders. Will you consider bringing back the previous lockout system or something similar?
Professions and economy
( Im going to use JC as an example only because Its the profession I am most familiar with and see as most effected by this expansion. )
I enjoy professions, and I like the element of an economy. I kind of feel like this aspect of the game has been tuned down to a degree that its almost phased out of the game. taking JC as an example, this profession, which is a crafting profession, has not seen a craftable item recipe relative to the current tier since and I believe is the only profession that hasn't seen an epic quality item crafted ( not learned, as the recipes themselves may be purple) in the expansion.
One might have argued that epic gems count, and we will get epic gems at some point so that makes up for it. After some information released recently, it appears now only bosses will drop epic jams. .................deep breath.
this has a collateral effect on the economy. Mining, alchemy transmutations, jewlcrafting, the price of ore, are all effected by this one item. without any addition items released other then actual gear patterns, for the remaining of the expansion several professions are almost rendered useless are a result of this system, and I'm sure there are more professions experiencing similar effects from other items that either exist in too much or not enough quantity. So my question here is what is the long term intention of professions in the game and what is the goal with the state of the economy on each realm.
I think the name is somewhat ironic, that despite the fact cata is a wonderful expansion, the game as a whole seems to be overrun by a touch of chaos. I don't feel like there is any rhyme or rhythm to the directions of separate mini games that once had painted a collective vision for the player that was a totally epic scene. This in short is the summary of the downside of cata, and my opinion as to the cause for the negativity that some seem to have toward the expansion. I hope Ive offered some insight/gave something interesting to read/made people laugh/generated hate mail to my inbox.
Ps- this can also be found at http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3196343192
Last edited by truculent; 09-22-2011 at 08:32 AM.
Reev: So, do I macro /dance into Shield Slam now? Raysere: Yes, I hear it increases your DPS Gold balance gear quality attractiveness to the opposite gender considerably